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Solar chargers


Original Post
Wes C · · Cleveland, oh · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 65

What's everyone recommend for a solar charger for use around camp?  I've got some extended trips planned for this year, and will have four people who will want to charge phones coming with me.  So what's everyone using?  Also have a backpacking trip planned so if it can be strapped to the back of a pack that would be great too.

FrankPS · · Atascadero, CA · Joined Nov 2009 · Points: 275
Racechinees . · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Oct 2017 · Points: 0

I used several ones but in general; Bigger is better. Use a powerbank that will accept the constant on and off cycling. 

Lots of phones will not go back to charge once the panel stop providing enough power and they get enough sun again. It needs to be unplugged and replugged. Some panels have electronics that will do this electronically for you. But if the panel is proving near the minim input requirement; it can cycle the phone from connect to disconnect (with included beep sound and vibration, which uses more power that it will be getting at that moment).

Having a big panel with lots of excessive output reduces these issues and gives a smoother charge, even when it's not aimed at the sun or some clouds are overhead.

shadowfire · · Unknown Hometown · Joined Feb 2016 · Points: 0

I have the Anker powerport solar lite, bought it after lending it from an expedition team mate at Aconcagua. Good volume/weight ratio and enough power to charge my powerbank. 

For multiple devices maybe the big 21W brother could be a suggestion.

Adrienne DiRosario · · Troy, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

I've found it better to use the solar to recharge the portable power bricks and then charge my phone off them. This helps with the connect/disconnect issue. 

T Roper · · the gym · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865

That said I own a small solar charger about the size of a pack of cigarettes that has a battery bank built in so its always charging the backup battery. It cost about 30 bucks 5 years ago and still works. Amazon is your friend.

Bill Kirby · · Baltimore Maryland · Joined Jul 2012 · Points: 480

T Roper wrote:
Adrienne DiRosario · · Troy, NY · Joined Jan 2016 · Points: 0

T Roper wrote:

That said I own a small solar charger about the size of a pack of cigarettes that has a battery bank built in so its always charging the backup battery. It cost about 30 bucks 5 years ago and still works. Amazon is your friend.

What brand?

T Roper · · the gym · Joined Mar 2006 · Points: 865
Wes C · · Cleveland, oh · Joined Apr 2017 · Points: 65

T Roper wrote:

I eyed those up but wasn't sure how effective they would be.

Guideline #1: Don't be a jerk.

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